WASHINGTON -- The fiduciary duty that compels advisers to act in the best interest of clients also subjects them to greater scrutiny from federal regulators in cases involving suspected negligence, SEC officials are cautioning.

Advisers and their attorneys can look to district court rulings, as well as the findings of cases heard before the agency's internal administrative judges. In matters involving advisers and negligence, those proceedings are closely aligned, according to Joseph Brenner, chief counsel at the SEC's Enforcement Division.

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